Polly has been observing Yan Xueshan for some time.
Except for the time when he came back from a date with his fiancé, Yan Xueshan was never late for class, and always arrived ten minutes early to take advantage of this time to get ready for class.
He wore the same style of clothing every day, never too dressed up but very clean. The clothes were ironed and neat looking, his collar always buttoned to the top and his hair never curled up, which could be considered very meticulous.
Regardless of the class, he would always be very serious, preparing himself and reviewing homework. In practical classes he would also take the initiative to do physical work – it really scared the whole class at that time!
Yan Xueshan didn’t look very strong; he wasn’t big and their class had another student who was two-meters tall and a big strong man. Yan Xueshan looked much thinner, and his appearance was refined, so when their classmates heard that he had joined the army, they all thought he had to have been a civilian soldier.
As a result, that day, dozens of equipment and instruments, each weighing hundreds of pounds, were lifted by Yan Xueshan. Without even a change of expression, he carried them away.
The more Polly thought about it, the more she felt that Yan Xueshan wasn’t a normal person, he was a bit like a robot.
She never saw Yan Xueshan smile, nor did she see him get angry. As for any other emotions, it was needless to say it was as if he set his life in accordance with a program.
It just so happened that the Blue Reaper was also speculated to be an intelligent AI on the Internet, since people always thought there wouldn’t be a person with such a personality in the world.
However, Polly was sure that Yan Xueshan must be a living person.
It would be impossible for a robot to say something like, “killing many people should never be something to be used to brag about your greatness.”
She looked it up and there was nothing online.
Moreover, after getting along with him for a while, she also found that Yan Xueshan was a person who didn’t lie.
Yan Xueshan was a straightforward person. He was seldomly tactful when he had something to say, but it was also without any malice since he was just telling the truth.
Sometimes when people said things in a complicated way, he wouldn’t understand them. He would just stand to the side with a bewildered expression, which was also quite interesting.
So, thinking back, something was wrong.
When Yan Xueshan saw her for the first time, he directly and firmly said, “The Blue Reaper isn’t dead.”
He also said that “the Blue Reaper may have retired.”
Why did he say it with such confidence? As if what he said was true!? That calm and composed attitude always made Polly want to believe him.
What’s frightening to think about, if you did the math carefully, Yan Xueshan’s age was also very similar to the Blue Reaper!
It made her dream of Xueshan piloting Artemis every night so dashing! Full of fashionable value!
Then she went to class the next day and saw Yan Xueshan dressed in peasant clothes, wearing a straw hat, with a simple and honest look. He was a little muddy as he worked diligently with the teacher in the school’s experimental field as if he was a seasoned farmer!
This seemed so out of character!
As a keen soldier, Yan Xueshan naturally couldn’t be completely unaware that he was being observed by this little girl.
Although Polly has recently stopped arguing with him, she still behaved strangely. She always sneaked around as she looked at him, even tried to take pictures secretly, but failed to do so.
They work together in a group, but he doesn’t usually talk to Polly, it would be mostly Nana who would communicate with him.
He also knew that Polly was an avid fan of the “Blue Reaper”.
Even so, Yan Xueshan doesn’t classify himself as the “Blue Reaper”, that was just a media-created virtual image.
For example, Polly often mentioned that the Support Club often held various entertainment activities with the theme of the “Blue Reaper”. Still, he didn’t know exactly what it was.
On this day, Polly wanted to secretly photograph him again.
Before she could even take a picture, Yan Xueshan turned his head and stared at her.
Polly blushed and awkwardly turned the camera away, pretending that she wasn’t taking pictures of him.
Yan Xueshan thought about it, walked over, and asked, “Is there something you want to say to me?”
Polly: “No, no.”
Then she said, “Actually, I do have something to ask you.”
Yan Xueshan nodded his head very promptly.
His gaze was frank and unhidden, but it made Polly nervous. “Did you see the Blue Reaper when you were in the army?”
Yan Xueshan: “Sort of.”
He saw himself in the mirror every day.
Polly stared round-eyed and doubtful. “You said before that he isn’t dead, is that true?”
Yan Xueshan replied with certainty, “Yes. He is still alive. He is alive and well.”
Unlike the previous times, this time Polly accepted Yan Xueshan’s answer calmly, but there was one thing she couldn’t quite accept.
She shook her head and said, “I still can’t believe that the Blue Reaper would abandon Artemis and retire suddenly like this. I’ve seen the videos and I feel as if they are one and the same. Although Artemis is just a mecha, they definitely have feelings for each other.”
Unfortunately, he was a person who didn’t have feelings, Yan Xueshan thought.
Even so, after returning to the field, he thought he did dream about Artemis from time to time, which was beyond his control.
He also tried to transform his agricultural mecha into Artemis, at least with the same color scheme in the paint job.
There was an old saying that even if a dog has been raised for ten years, it should have feelings. In the same way, even if she was just mecha made of a pile of metal, he has been piloting her for ten years, and she also has accompanied him.
Especially a few days ago, when he drove Artemis again, this kind of situation has become a more frequent occurrence, making him dream of piloting her again.
Some of them were real, such as when he flew Artemis and fought with Arthur Zhulong.
Some dreams were only his fantasy, such as when he drove Artemis to his farm, parked her under a huge flowering tree, and instead of fighting he would just sit on Artemis shoulder, leaning against her, watching the field harvest.
This latter dream, he would dream it over and over again.
He saw the gentle sunlight falling on Artemis’ body, illuminating her as if she was glowing with an almost mythical charm of beauty.
In the mythology of ancient Earth, Artemis was one of the twelve main Gods of Olympus, the most beloved youngest daughter of Zeus.
She liked to sit in a chariot pulled by a golden-horned deer, roaming freely in the mountains and wilderness. Whenever she traveled, she would be accompanied by a dozen of the most beautiful little nymphs.
Artemis was the Goddess of Hunting, and in the ancient city-states she was also worshiped as a Goddess of War.
At the same time, she was actually the Goddess of Nature and Purity.
Yan Xueshan thought it was a little absurd.
If she really had a soul, she would want to see the beautiful fields as well.
– Yan Xueshan told Arthur about his dream.
Now, Yan Xueshan communicated with Arthur every day.
At first, he set himself three fixed times in the morning, noon and evening, saying “good morning”, “good afternoon” and “good night” to Arthur. He would also generally elaborate on something, according to the standard of writing reports in the military.
He even made a punch list – a replica of the training punch list – and gave himself a little bonus after each communication.
Arthur complimented him every day on his punctuality and told him about the base, mostly about mechas and Yan Xueshan would listen with great interest.
Then Arthur taught him by leading him by hand, saying, “Master, you don’t need to report to me your whole schedule, you can talk about something that makes you happy or is interesting to you.”
Yan Xueshan seriously said, “No.”
Arthur said with a smile, “For example, if you see a beautiful flower or plant somewhere on the roadside, or if there is a cloud in a strange form, or you meet a kitty… in addition to classes, meals and shooting practice.
“Didn’t you also tell me that you have started to follow the teacher for practical training? I’d love to see the results of your planting.”
Oh! He understood! Yan Xueshan suddenly thought.
Every day Arthur would take the initiative to ask him what he wanted to see and of course Yan Xueshan agreed to everything.
As long as Arthur said it once, he would remember it so next time without having to be reminded, he would add it to the content of their communication.
After listening to Yan Xueshan dream, Arthur asked, “Dr. Brandon asked you if you want to be a test pilot. You said you would think about it. Have you thought about it? Look, since you miss Artemis so much–”
Speaking in a low voice, Yan Xueshan softly and unknowingly spilled the beans, “I think, it wouldn’t be good…”
Arthur asked, “What wouldn’t be good?”
Yan Xueshan never told anyone, this was his first and probably last time.
Yan Xueshan said in advance, “If I tell you, you have to believe me.”
Arthur didn’t hesitate. “Of course I’ll believe you.”
Yan Xueshan confessed, “Actually, I don’t like that line of work, the same way you like the profession of Mecha Master Sergeant and teacher. My adoptive father wanted me to become a Master Sergeant who piloted a sniper mecha. The pay was good so I decided to choose it.”
Every time someone wanted to interview him, he looked twice at that question and felt like his head was going to explode.
As for the position of Mecha Master Sergeant, he didn’t have any lofty ideals and didn’t feel passionate about fighting. He treated it like any other ordinary job, punching in every day to complete the required amount of training. It just seemed like he was quite suitable for this line of work.
In the real-time communication video, Yan Xueshan said solemnly, “So, I think that with my dishonest attitude, I shouldn’t continue to pilot the mecha.”
Arthur seemed to think of something and laughed.
Yan Xueshan: “Don’t laugh. That’s why I didn’t want to tell you. People would think I was insulting them.”
Arthur stopped laughing, but the smile in his eyes was still strong as he said, “Thank you for telling me.”
Arthur, sitting in the Admiral’s Office, leaned forward slightly, as if getting closer to him and said in a low voice, “Then I’ll tell you a secret too, Master. Although I took courses for Melee Mecha in college, I actually didn’t want to be a Master Sergeant at first, I just thought I should learn.
“In fact, I didn’t even intend to go to the Capital Military University. I didn’t even want to be a Master Sergeant when I was a kid, and I didn’t like to fight. I really wanted to be a painter back then and I planned to enroll in an art university, so I practiced painting.”
Yan Xueshan: “???”
Arthur’s secret was even more outrageous.
The smile at the corner of Arthur’s mouth faded as he said wistfully, “But when I was fifteen, my sister was killed in battle. In a fit of rage, I enrolled in the Capital Military University and became determined to join the army.
“As a child, I even hated mechas, because Dad was too busy training and fighting in the war to take care of his family. He was a great man, a good leader to his people, but not a good husband and father to his wife and children.
“I was rebellious and hated mechas. Later, when I started to learn, he disliked my poor piloting skills. Among the students at school I wasn’t the best. Even if I tried my best, I could only take third place. When I first joined the army, I wondered if I was more suitable for development in a command post.”
Yan Xueshan commented speechlessly, “The most powerful Melee Mecha Master in active service said that he hated mechas. That’s ridiculous.”
Arthur laughed loudly, “The most powerful retired Sniper Mecha Master said that he was forced to operate mecha to make a livelihood, that’s also not decent, right?”
That’s true, Yan Xueshan thought. They were a ridiculous pair, but lucky to be alive until now.
Arthur’s eyes twinkled as he smiled again and said, “I later fell in love with mecha. Do you know when it started? It was because I met someone.
“It was during a support operation, when I met another Divisional Sergeant.”
Yan Xueshan asked curiously, “Who was it?”
Arthur: “At that time, that Master Sergeant’s squad had been completely wiped out except for him, and he was the only one left fighting against the enemy. However, when I arrived, I found that he didn’t look miserable at all. He was just circling the enemy alone. I’d never seen a Master Sergeant like that before. His style was so elegant and calm that it charmed me at once.”
Yan Xueshan vaguely sensed that he was slowly stepping into a delicate trap, so he didn’t continue to ask.
The answer was given anyway.
Arthur: “Later, I heard that the Sniper Sergeant lacked a partner so I immediately went to apply for this position and was chosen.”
He was talking about him?
He thought about it.
Yan Xueshan couldn’t remember right away which battle that was.
It should be the last one before he met Arthur. He didn’t have much of an impression of the Melee Division Sergeant who came to reinforce him, nor was he interested in asking for information about the other party’s identity. His technique had also been very ordinary and not impressive at all.
Wait a minute.
He found something wasn’t right.
Yan Xueshan always thought he was destined to partner with Arthur and it just so happened that the army assigned Arthur to him.
Wasn’t that it?
Edited by: Antiope1